Business ideas

Roland DG: Joins the Hamamatsu Innovation Challenge for the creation of new business ideas

Roland DG joins Hamamatsu Innovation Challenge to create new business ideas

09/02/2022 Corporate activities, events and fairs

Roland DG employees recently participated in a program organized by local Hamamatsu companies to develop new business ideas by interacting with like-minded people within each company.

Four-month program focused on creating new business ideas

The Hamamatsu Innovation Challenge was first held from September to December 2021 to give local businesses a way to focus their areas of expertise on creating new business ideas that match recent changes in society. The program was organized by clutch manufacturer FCC Co., Ltd. and consulting firm bridge, Inc., and was sponsored by the city of Hamamatsu.

Six teams participated in the program: FCC, Yutaka Giken Co., Ltd., Hamamatsu Iwata Shinkin Bank, University of Shizuoka and Roland DG.

In online sessions and face-to-face workshops held from September to November, participants learned various methods used to create new business ideas and worked with guest speakers and employees from other companies to come up with a wide range of ideas. The pitch competition was held at Co-startup Space & Community FUSE in December, where participating teams had ten minutes to pitch their business idea to their own company’s leadership team for approval.
Click here for our interview with FUSE about how they use Roland DG UV printers in their manufacturing studio

Pitch competition held on December 17 with infection control measures in place.

Hamamatsu City Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki (center), Roland DG Chairman Tanabe (4th from left) and executives from other participating companies served as selection judges.

Hamamatsu City Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki expressed his encouragement to the participants, “Having members from Hamamatsu’s leading manufacturing companies, a financial institution and a university working to create new types of innovation is so important for Hamamatsu’s future, and I want you to continue to take on similar challenges in the future.”

The “Creative DAY ART” idea of ​​the Roland DG team for the after-school daycare

Presentation by the Roland DG team.

The idea raised by the Roland DG team was to offer an after-school childcare program called “DAY ART”, which gave children the opportunity to explore their creative abilities through art and the making. 3D manufacturing and woodworking processes are difficult to incorporate into home-learning programs or traditional schools, but the availability of digital tools from Roland DG means that these processes can be used to nurture curious minds and creative thinking. Another benefit of running a facility with these services is that it can also help ease pressures on waiting lists for childcare. To demonstrate how the idea would work, a hands-on craft workshop was held where staff worked with children to help them make various objects.

To refine the business idea, the children were given free rein in the hands-on craft workshop to let their imaginations run wild.

Although the idea unfortunately did not receive President Tanabe’s approval due to a number of issues that needed to be resolved, he agreed with the underlying premise of the concept and requested that the idea is discussed further within the company.

The results of the pitch competition saw Yutaka’s team receive the top prize for their idea to apply active exhaust noise cancellation technology used in the automotive industry to absorb the sound of crying babies. . Their idea was incorporated into a baby carrier. The second prize went to the FCC team for their idea of ​​a new type of convex traffic mirror with integrated sensors and LEDs to help reduce traffic accidents.

Presentation by the Yutaka team whose idea was selected for the first prize.

Program Results

At the end of the program, we asked the Roland DG team about their general impressions of the program.

The competitors launch T-shirts made with the children at the workshop.

Shiro Yoshioka (left)
In charge of development at DGSHAPE Corporation, a subsidiary of Roland DG for the design and marketing of products for the dental industry and the 3D manufacturing industry
“I have always wanted to be involved in the creation of new business ideas in order to extend my skills beyond product development. Unfortunately, our idea was not approved, but it was an incredible experience to see the other teams winners come out and test their own ideas.”

Shiori Kondo (center)
Provides technical support to the service department
“I first thought, ‘That looks fun!’ when I read the details of the program, but it was actually much harder than expected. Yet this level of difficulty made our accomplishments so much more rewarding. I hope to apply what I learned during the program to my own work and listen carefully to user feedback.”

Naoki Ueda (right)
In charge of the development of the digital printing market
“I am involved in developing products for new markets with our overseas partners. With this program, I was able to apply the methods for finding new business ideas that I had learned from books to develop a new concept. It was difficult to juggle the schedule and my normal daily tasks, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my team members!”

In the future, we hope to continue to bring you closer to some of the challenges that our employees face!


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